previous next


At the same games the rhinoceros was also exhibited, an animal which has a single horn projecting from the nose;1 it has been frequently seen since then. This too is another natural-born enemy of the elephant.2 It prepares itself for the combat by sharpening its horn against the rocks; and in fighting directs it chiefly against the belly of its adversary, which it knows to be the softest part. The two animals are of equal length, but the legs of the rhinoceros are much the shorter: its skin is the colour of box-wood.

1 Cuvier says, that this was the single-horned rhinoceros of India. The commentators have been at a loss to reconcile this description with the Epigram of Martial, Spect. Ep. xxii., where he speaks of the rhinoceros exhibited by Domitian, as having two horns. It has been proved that this latter was of the two-horned species, by the medals of that emperor, now in existence. Martial, Spect. Ep. ix., seems also to have been acquainted with the single-horned species. That with two horns is mentioned by Pausanias as the Æthiopian bull. We learn from modern naturalists, that the two-horned species is a native of the southern parts of Africa, while that with one horn is from Asia.—B.

2 The other enemy is the dragon, as described in c. 11 and 12 of the present Book.—B.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (7 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: